Deciding to move to Canada is life-changing. A new country brings about new opportunities and a new way of life. Richmond Hill, Ontario is one of the many cities in the Greater Toronto Area to consider.
But before you choose a new city to call home, it’s important to carefully research your options. There are many cities in Canada and they are all unique. So smart things to consider include career options, the regional location, the housing market, and the overall lifestyle a city can offer. Where you live will affect both your financial success and overall quality of life in Canada.
Is Richmond Hill near the top of your list of cities you are considering? Prepare for Canada can guide you with helpful information.
About Richmond Hill, Ontario
Richmond Hill is a diverse city that is located in York Region. The region includes nine municipalities: Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville, and the City of Richmond Hill. York Region is also part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and is about 36 km from Toronto. The village of Richmond Hill was incorporated in 1872. It received town status in 1957 and city status in 2019.
Richmond Hill has seen significant growth since the 1990s. Thanks to its strong economy, job opportunities, and the quality of life it provides, it attracts thousands of young and skilled immigrants each year.
How Many People Live in Richmond Hill, Ontario?
202,000 people live in Richmond Hill, according to the 2021 Census. This is an increase of 3.6% since 2016. The city is the third-largest in York Region and the 27th largest in Canada. Over 60% of the population are visible minorities. This is well over 100,000 residents.
How to Find a Job & Build a Career in Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill’s Local Economy
The city has a diverse economy that is made up of small businesses and corporate headquarters. It is becoming known for IT and high technology with over one thousand businesses in this industry.
Other leading industries you’ll find here are:
- Insurance and Finance
- Professional Services
- Information and Culture
Major Employers in Richmond Hill
The city has a wide range of employers in many industries. Some of its top employers include:
- York Region
- Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital
- The City of Richmond Hill.
Career Pathways in Richmond Hill
You can search for jobs on the City of Richmond Hill website. Working with a recruitment agency is also a common way to search for employment. Top recruitment agencies include Randstad Canada, AppleOne Employment Services, and Robert Half.
The Richmond Hill Housing Market
Richmond Hill continues to grow, much like other parts of the York Region. It offers newcomers a variety of housing options. You can choose to rent or buy when you move to the city. Main neighbourhoods include:
- Oak Ridges
- Bayview North
- Elgin Mills
- Mill Pond
- Bayview Hill.
Is Housing Expensive in Richmond Hill, Ontario?
Housing in the city is expensive. It is one of the most expensive cities in Ontario to rent or buy. It is a highly desirable place to live, which can make finding affordable options more challenging.
Finding a Place to Rent in Richmond Hill
Compared to other cities in the GTA, Richmond Hill is an affordable place to rent. But it is still expensive overall. According to Zumper, the median cost for rent is $1,901 for a one-bedroom. It is $2,512 for a two-bedroom and $3,200 for a three-bedroom unit. Housing availability can be an issue. There is not typically a lot of variety in the rental market.
Use Rentals for Newcomers to search for available rental units in Richmond Hill. Here, you can also find current rental prices in Richmond Hill. And be sure to read more information about the Best Richmond Hill Neigbourhoods for Renting.
When renting a home or apartment, it’s also important to consider buying renter’s insurance to protect your family, belongings, and finances.
Get more information about renting a home:
Buying a Home in Richmond Hill
It is expensive to purchase a home in Richmond Hill. Prices have increased by once 12% in the past year and they continue to climb. The average price to buy a home is $1.5 million as of April 2022 according to Zolo.ca.
The average price for a 3-bedroom townhouse is $1.3 million and the average price for a condo is $734,000. Find out more about buying your first home in Canada: First Time Home Buyer: Newcomer Tips
Driving & Public Transit
Driving in Richmond Hill, Ontario
Highway driving is part of daily life in Richmond Hill. It’s common for residents to commute to work in other parts of the GTA. There are several major highways in the area. They are Highway 404/ Don Valley Parkway, Highway 7, Highway 407 toll expressway, and Highway 401. Heavy traffic is common in these areas.
All residents are required to have a valid Ontario driver’s licence. The province uses a graduated licencing system. Learn more about licencing requirements on the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) website. Get more information about driving in Canada with these 10 essential facts.
Get more information about driving in Canada:
Richmond Hill Public Transit
York Region Transit (YRT)/Viva has 120 routes across the nine municipalities of the York Region and offers easy access to the transit systems in the neighbouring City of Toronto, Peel Region, and Durham Region. To plan your trip with YRT/Viva, visit their website.
Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has routes that operate in the York Region and bring passengers to some of the Toronto subway stations. GO Transit offers trains and bus services from Union Station in Toronto to York Region. For fare information when using the TTC and GO Transit connecting services click here.
Community Support for Newcomers
As a city with a diverse population, it offers a wide selection of support for newcomers. All new immigrants have access to programs that help to settle in the city. Among many of the services, you can get help to look for work, find housing, and improve your language skills.
York Region’s Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) offers support to newcomers. Welcome Centre Immigration Services has seven locations in York Region, including in Richmond Hill. You can get general information in fifteen languages.
You can take language classes through Settlement.org, Welcome Centre Immigrant Services, Immigration Settlement Services, and many other community groups.
Personal Finance & Banking
Setting up a bank account and getting your finances in order upon moving to Richmond Hill is an important step in getting settled. All local banks and credit unions offer services specifically for new immigrants. They can help you open a bank account, get a credit card, apply for loans, and get a mortgage.
Get more banking tips for newcomers:
Richmond Hill’s Education System
Richmond Hill has many education options for children and adults. There are two main school boards – York Regional District School Board and York Catholic District School Board.
While the city does not have a post-secondary institution, you can get access to top colleges and universities throughout the GTA. Parents have access to many pre-school and daycare options. There are before and after school programs, and private, public, and community childcare programs across the city.
Elementary and High School Education
Residents have access to public, Catholic, and private school education. The York Regional District School Board has twenty-seven elementary and five high schools. The York Catholic District School Board has thirteen catholic elementary and two high schools. There are also four private primary schools and five private high schools.
Post Secondary Institutions
There are no colleges or universities in Richmond Hill. But there are satellite campuses of York University, University of Toronto, and Seneca College located in York Region.
Read more about education in Canada:
Where To Get Medical Care in Richmond Hill, Ontario
Most basic health care services in Ontario are publicly funded. Richmond Hill residents are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Prescription drugs and some other medical services are not covered by OHIP, but you can pay for additional health insurance plans.
Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital offers a full-service emergency department, and core and specialized services to provide the health care you need. In case of a medical emergency (when there is a life-threatening condition) call 9-1-1.
York Region Emergency Medical Services works 24 hours per day and uses up to thirty-three ambulances, nine rapid response vehicles and four special response vehicles.
How to Find a Family Doctor
When you arrive, finding a family doctor will be important so that you can receive primary medical care. Family doctors can prescribe medication and refer their patients to specialists and hospitals. Not all family doctors accept new patients, so if you have difficulty finding a health care provider, you can enrol in the Health Care Connect Program of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
If you need medical care, but still don’t have a doctor, you can go to a walk-in clinic. Get more information about health care in Canada: Steps to Access Free Health Care in Canada
What is Day to Day Life Like in Richmond Hill?
Things to Do in Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill’s location within the GTA offers newcomers many different things to do. Whether you enjoy the outdoors, culture, the arts, or sports, there is something for everyone.
Public Spaces & Attractions
The city offers residents a variety of attractions to explore. Some of the most popular are the David Dunlop Observatory, Hillcrest Mall, Richmond Hill Heritage Centre, and the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Richmond Hill has a variety of neighbourhoods that offer cuisine from many cultures. Yonge Street is the best spot to discover many unique restaurants, pubs, and bars.
Nature & Natural Landscapes
There are many outdoor spaces for nature lovers. You can go for a hike at Oak Ridges Trail or Rouge River Headwaters Walk, check out Wilcox Lake, Saigeon Trail walkways above wetlands and Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve.
Sporting Events & Concerts
Even though the city doesn’t have any professional sports teams, it’s only a short drive away to Toronto to see the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, and Argos. You can check out live performances at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Again, there are countless world-class concert venues only a short drive away.
Culture & Diversity In Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill is a culturally diverse city. Over 60% of the population identify as a visible minority. This is about 120,000 residents. Residents speak 126 languages.
The largest minority population is Chinese, which make up 30% of residents. Other large immigrant communities include Iranian (11%), Italian (10%), East Indian (5.8%), and Russian (5.4%).
Each year, the city celebrates its cultural diversity through the annual Culture Days events. The event raises cultural awareness through visual arts, music, dance, film, food, and media.
As a diverse city, residents practice different religions. About 50% of the population identifies as Christian. This is followed by Islam (11.5%), Judaism (5.5%), Buddhism (2.8%), and Hinduism (2.4%). About one-quarter of the population has no religious affiliation.
Place of Worship in York Region:
The Weather in Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill has a humid continental climate with four seasons. Winters are cold with the daily average temperature in January of -7°C. Temperatures often feel colder than they are because of the wind chill. Snow can fall anytime between November and April. Snowstorms are not unusual.
Summers are hot and humid with temperatures usually in the range from 20°C to 31°C. However, the high humidity makes temperatures feel warmer than they are. Spring and autumn are cool and pleasant, sometimes with large differences between day and night temperatures.
Common Questions Immigrants Ask About Living in Richmond Hill
Is Richmond Hill a Good Place for Immigrants?
Yes. It’s regarded as one of the best places to live and work in Canada. Its truly diverse population makes it an attractive destination for new immigrants.
What are Some Disadvantages of Living in Richmond Hill for New Immigrants?
While it is a great place to live, Richmond Hill is one of the most expensive cities in Ontario. If you don’t enjoy commuting, you won’t like the traffic. Your location could limit your job opportunities.
What are the Benefits of Living in Richmond Hill?
Richmond Hill gives you the calm and quietness of a small town while still located close to Toronto, a major city. There are many outdoor activities in the area, and it is a great location for commuters. Most of the residents are families with children.
For more information, tools, and free webinars about living in Canada visit our Settling in Canada resource page. We’ll help you to settle successfully!